Chat Commerce

The Rise of Conversational Commerce and Chat Commerce

“Estimates indicate that global spending on conversational commerce channels will total about 41 U.S. billion dollars in 2021. That figure was forecast to grow almost sevenfold by 2025, amounting to some 290 billion U.S. dollars.” - Statista 

As we head into the busiest retail period of the year, companies across the globe are looking for ways to boost their sales after what has been when of the biggest economic downturns in recent history. If you’re really interested in increasing your return on investment this Black Friday and festive season, you might want to consider chat commerce. Using the world’s most popular chat platforms, you can better facilitate the entire retail journey from discovery through to securing a purchase. 

Conversational commerce explained

Conversational commerce is essentially the forerunner to chat commerce. As with chat commerce, it is a marketing and retail tool that uses chat platforms to bring your customers closer to your product or service. However, unlike the new wave of chat commerce, conversational commerce is not necessarily run on a ubiquitous platform making it less accessible to a larger customer base.

What are the types of conversational commerce?

There are various forms of conversational commerce options, it really depends on your brand and what you’re looking to achieve through this platform. The four main types include:

1. Chatbots

This is a website-based chatbot that pops up on your site to offer new customers live greetings and assist with browsing the site.

2. Live chat agents

While chatbots facilitate customer engagement, they are limited in terms of their communication capacity which is where live chat agents are often needed to assist. When a customer reaches a threshold with a chatbot, they can be directed to a human agent for more challenging queries and concerns.

3. Push notifications

This is an automated text message that you can use to remind your customers about appointments, discounts or sales.

4. Voice assistants

The final conversational commerce option is a voice assistant to help customers book or reschedule appointments as well as search for products or services. Brands are increasingly incorporating voice assistants – just think of Google’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa – for marketing purposes. 

So why is there a new wave?

Too often, conversational commerce offerings fall short as they’re not quite ready to mimic the way humans interact and speak. This can be incredibly frustrating for the customer, which undermines the entire point of conversational commerce – making the process simpler. That’s where chat commerce can help. 

What is chat commerce?

Propel yourself forward to the modern day of retail where chat commerce has become the dominant marketing tool for the informed customer. Unlike conversational commerce, chat commerce is a solely mobile-friendly marketing option that allows you to conduct transactions within the world’s largest messaging and chat apps used by billions of people worldwide. It’s more user-friendly, more direct and allows you to connect at a much bigger scale. Basically, chat commerce will: 

  • Simplify purchasing using popular chat apps like WhatsApp;

  • Streamline authentication of the consumer for quicker turnaround;

  • Empower consumers with faster interactions in their preferred apps; and

  • Enable a consumer-led, mobile-first commerce path. 

How to drive sales with chat commerce?

While incorporating chat commerce into your business is undeniably beneficial, there are certain techniques that you can incorporate to better drive sales through this platform. Here’s a look at some of the examples for improving your return on investment.

1. Provide recommendations

So often, a potential customer will get to a website and start researching only to find they have more questions than answers. They aren’t going to wait around for an email response to queries, they’ll more likely just move on to the next website to find what they’re looking for. That’s where chat commerce is flipping the game. Your customers have immediate access to answers and recommendations that will shift their ‘maybe’ into a definite purchase.

2. Share discounts and promotions

A really effective way to drive sales is by sharing discounts and promotions with your customers – and potential customers – via chat commerce. You can use this as a way to get rid of stock ahead of a new season, to drive Black Friday and festive season sales, to encourage up- or cross-selling or simply to attract the attention of new customers. This can either be done via online sales or draw customers to your actual store.

3. Make bookings

You can even facilitate in-person appointments on your chat commerce platform by allowing customers to make or reschedule appointments. This is a great tool for those in the service or healthcare industry, as well as the automobile or real estate industries where bookings for viewings are needed. Chat commerce will also allow you to send appointment reminders and even sync calendars so that customers or clients don’t miss these appointments. 

4. Keep customers updated

When your chat commerce integrates with your customer relationship software, you have access to more of your customer data, allowing you to personalize your interactions. By tracking browsing history and previous purchases, you build up an image of your client’s interests, which makes better brand loyalty. You can let customers know what is happening in terms of new products and services that might interest them. 

5. Make check-out easier

According to a SaleCycle report in 2021, the average shopping cart abandonment rate was 79.8%. For Black Friday it sat at around 76.65% and for Cyber Monday it went up to 80.25%. This is a lot of lost revenue! However, one of the ways to address this is by incorporating chat commerce to improve your check-out process. Customers get the support and encouragement they need at that final retail hurdle, or you can send a reminder via the platform that they have purchases waiting to be made.

6. Get the necessary feedback

Even if you are securing sales, there are always ways to do better. That’s why it’s important that you’re constantly getting feedback from customers which you can then put into action by improving the overall customer experience. If a customer has a bad experience, they’re very likely to leave your brand and move over to the next one. If they’re getting the chance to share their input, good or bad, then they feel heard and appreciated.

Black Friday and the festive season are fast approaching, so now is the time to put your brand in the chat apps that your customers love. With Clickatell’s chat commerce, your mobile-first, mobile-always customers enjoy convenient digital customer support, account management, and transaction services from within chat.


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